Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Word From Huck, for your consideration

Epistemology:"The study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity" Merriam-Webster

My favorite reference that communicates my understanding of this word is a quotation from Hamlet:"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V

Philosophy being the study, collection, and/or pusuit of all learning, wisdom, beliefs, and ethics; Shakespear was telling us that there are limits to what we do and can know. So we should not be surprised by what is new (to us) or mysterious. Nor should we instantly doubt that which is not within our personal experience.

I extend this thought a bit to say that embracing that which is outside our philosophy is the nature of inquest (inquisitiveness). However, we must be aware that there is the most common of traps amongst humanity--predisposition. For if we color our inquest by denying our epistemological limits--or worse, by only extending our limits where expedient in economy or pain--we interject fallacy into our philosophy and gain not. This is the better definition of prejudice.

Be Well.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy New Year - Michael Savage is an Idiot

I am sorry to kick the year off with such a negative posting, but under the cover of conservative talk radio Michael Savage has joined the lineup at my favorite station--KFYI in Phoenix. So what is wrong with Michael Savage you ask? Glad you did.....

Michael Savage is a blowhard with an uncomfortable tendency to praise himself.
But, but, but...You is Rush Limbaugh! Yes, but Savage lacks Rush's talent and the wry wink and smirk you can hear in Rush's voice every time he lets loose with self-praise.

Michael Savage is rough and unpolished.
But, but, is Howard Stern and KFYI's morning guy, Bruce Jacobs. Correct on both counts. But one gets the impression that Howard is just naturally a nasty guy--the class clown. And a listener cannot help but believe that Bruce Jacobs is being, well...he's being Bruce. I think that if you played a covert recording of Bruce Jacobs as he went about his daily life--watching his dog chew the furniture, playing golf, cheering for the Jets--you would find his normal conversation virtually indistinguishable from his radio show, rantings and all, yet minus several FCC-banned words. Even if you consider Howard and Bruce to be the bookends of civil-less discourse, an honest listener cannot help but be at least modestly charmed by the honesty of their whole affair (what ever it is that it may be at the time). Michael Savage somehow manages to come off phony in his coarseness. He is able to edit himself into the confines of propriety a little too easily. And you can almost hear him thinking about his next semi-rough expression before he says it--measuring it in the hope it will provoke, just enough. It's like the schoolyards misanthrope who wants to be seen as tough, but cannot quite pull it off.

Michael Savage is not that funny.
Oh, the elements are all there. But his humor is formulaic, calling someone an idiot is almost never funny all by itself, and his timing is off--he gives no pause when one is needed and his inflections sounds asynchronous to his punch-lines. I hesitate to dwell too long in comparisons with other KFYI hosts, but there is a reason that Barry Young's show is so highly rated. Barry Young can talk about nothing in a circle for five minutes and end with his patented "canned" cheers and/or applause and all you know is that you are still laughing and have the latent belief that Barry actually made a point in there...somewhere. All of that is the anti-Savage, if you will allow the phrase.

I could go on, but will mercifully not. KFYI has been looking for a nighttime host to follow Joe Crummey (also solid, funny, and a good interviewer) for some time. I suggest that their search continue a bit longer.